Decision Made!

The moment has come we have all been waiting for… or at least my family has been. I finally decided which third-party program to study abroad with this fall in Prague, Czech Republic.

Both International Studies Abroad (ISA) and American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) had a ton to offer and the decision was definitely a hard one, but I am proud to say that I will be applying to Charles University in Prague through ISA for the fall of 2011.

What was the tie-breaker? After numerous visits with the Study Abroad Office on campus, we determined that I would save a good chunk of change by traveling through ISA and also was drawn to the apartment style living of ISA versus the dorms through AIFS.

Overall, I’m ecstatic to finally have a plan in motion and finish filling out all the paper work tomorrow! I can not wait until mid-August and to have the best four months of my life. Stay tuned and follow me on all my adventures…

3 down, 7 to go

My apologies for the absence from the blogosphere… it’s quite hectic around here with graduation rounding the corner! But enough about that, and more about traveling around this beautiful planet. I came across this article the other day about the 10 Places Every Kid Should See. I thought I was well traveled, but it turns out I’ve got some work to do. The Braun family has hit the Grand Canyon (AZ), the National Mall (D.C.) and Ellis Island (NY). Okay, okay, so we took the ferry past Ellis Island but it was still an amazing experience to see the place where so many immigrants have come to the United States.

Although I still have seven to go, but there are two that stick out more than the rest: Yellowstone National Park  and Redwood National Park. I don’t know what excites me more, the geysers, the immensity of the redwoods or the hot springs. Not to mention the insane colors that make up these natural landscapes. Heaven. Add it to the ongoing list of places I must see before I die or maybe start planning a roadtrip to all the National Parks…. ideas, ideas. Have a great Tuesday everyone!

 

Castles, Castles, Castles

Oh man, my apologies. I need to start getting better about blogging more often. It’s funny how time seems to slip through your fingers. Anyway, I’m a little homesick this week here at Eastern and find myself daydreaming of traveling afar next semester more and more frequently. But for now, I’m here in the land of Charleston, awaiting my mom’s arrival next weekend, whoop! Even though Charleston isn’t the greatest of towns, it still has a lot to offer through its unique architecture of the college buildings, one of my favorites being Old Main.

The castle here houses some main offices as well as the math department, which my roommate is oddly fond of. Rumor has it that each of the Illinois state schools have a castle and if you put them together, they fit to make one giant castle. There are supposedly doors and stairwells that do not lead to anything, because it should connect to the next castle. Awesome.

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit a different kind of castle down in Orlando at Disney World. I know everyone is probably sick of hearing about Disney World, but it just boggles my mind how someone can just create something so huge out of nothing. I wouldn’t mind spending a night in there and waiting for Prince Charming to come, if it didn’t cost the rumored thousands of dollars per night…

Now that is royalty! Although these castles are all amazing, I can’t wait to see the Prague Castle in the Czech Republic. This castle is the largest castle in the world and takes up over 18 acres of land! Dating back to the year 880, this castle housed the Church of the Virgin Mary, St. George’s Convent, basilicas, cathedrals and more. In the 14th century, the castle was transformed into a living place for Charles IV.

It wasn’t until 1989 that sections of the castle were open to the public including the Royal Garden, the Imperial Stables and Ballgame Hall. Today, the President of the Czech Republic lives there and it contains many historical documents, crown jewels and other historical articles. I can. not. wait. to. see. this.

Overdue

Well, this post is LONG overdue, my apologizes. I’ve been back in the Land of Lincoln for about a week now and am missing Florida and Disney World almost everyday. The weather wasn’t anything to talk about… until the day I left. I got a little bit of sun on my cheeks, which was more than fine with me. I wish it was 75, sunny with a light breeze all the time.

Disney World itself never ceases to amaze me. The architecture of the whole place is just amazing. I only got a chance to go to Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios parks, but man oh man, do they have their marketing and such down to a system. It is crazy how one man’s dream became an entire world. It makes you think what you may be capable of. Not to mention Disney World’s ability to make you feel like a kid again (see above picture) at any age. I was literally skipping through the parks to meet all the characters possible.

The three of us were on a mission and had the eye for finding our furry little friends all around the parks. We found Stitch, Winnie, Tigger. Eeyore, Piglet, Chip, Dale, Lightning McQueen, Mater, almost all the Disney Princesses, and more! It was a great success to say the least, especially because we got to see some of my favorites and snap a picture for my little nephew Bri Guy…

Overall, it was a perfect vacation spent with some great friends and I’m glad I got the opportunity to go. It will have to fill up my need for travel for the time being, because now its time to save save save for some big trips coming up in the fall… Europe anyone?

World of Magic

My best friend Tarah, her family and I are headed to the most magical place on Earth, a.k.a. Disney World in t minus three days. It is going to be Tarah’s first plane ride, which she is super nervous about. We’ll be staying at the Disney Resort, which I’ve never seen before and am looking forward too. Even more than that, I’m excited to get out of these sub zero temperatures, inches of snow and inch of ice… 80 degrees and sunny here  I come! My one goal is to run into these guys while par-oozing the parks this week and snap a picture for my nephew…

Buzz and Woody

“You’ve got troubles, well I’ve got ’em too
There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you
We stick together and we see it through
You’ve got a friend in me”

The countdown continues, and I’m off to start some packing for the trip before the Super Bowl kick-off. Go Bears? This is the type of year where I’m all about the commercials. Enjoy the game everyone.

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